…Stanisław Podemski and the pianist Joanna Zathey-Wójcińska performed Edward Grieg’s Sonata in C minor Op. 45. This piece in three movements is characterized by a wide array of emotions and a beautiful flow of melody. This presents certain risk to the interpreter: it is easy to fall into the trap of sentimentality or even banality. Nevertheless, Stanisław Podemski and his accompanist were able to bring out all the refined romanticism of Grieg’s music. The 1st movement was passionate, the 2nd was melodious but appropriately moderate, and finally the 3rd movement, were all the distinctive features of Grieg’s music were emphasized: fantasy, mystery, Northern nostalgia and restlessness of little trolls…– Arte del violino
Review by Anna Woźniakowska
…Captivating “Amadeus” Chamber Orchestra Concert
(…) On the Saturday evening the audience gathered to admire an exquisite concert. (…) The “Amadeus” Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio performed with the soloist Joanna Kreft, which was strictly in line with the Orchestra’s policy to promote young talented musicians. Performing on the historic instrument, this 21-year old student of the Poznan School of Music charmed the audience with her interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor. Delicacy with which she presented the melody could evoke most intense emotions and reach to the deepest layers of sensitivity. This, in combination with the ability to emphasize the assets of Bach’s music, such as the unique harmony and complex beauty of polyphony, acted magnetically on the audience, who could focus all attention on the music and enjoy the elusive and spiritual aspect of humanity, so far from the cold, utilitarian attitude. The Orchestra, in turn, under the baton of the unmatched Agnieszka Duczmal, created the whole palette of string sound, which complemented, illuminated and underlined the solo parts…–
…Great idea for Bach interpretation! From the very beginning the violist showed the dance-like character of this piece – indeed, a suite is a set of dances: the Allemande was impeccable and lively, there followed the swiftly narratedCourante, atmospheric Sarabande, and perfect, at least technically, Gigue. The round and soft sound of violin made this interpretation resemble the historically informed performance, also known as period performance. It was really interesting. Finally, Chaconne. I was absolutely impressed by the vivid and round expression, character and sound Maxima presented. The timbre was balanced, as were the harmony, different sound layers and registers. This presentation was far from boring. (…) From the very beginning it was apparent that Beethoven’s Sonata was going to be much more than simply executing the notes. To the contrary, the interpretation by both musicians seemed overdone at times, particularly in the first and last movements. The second movement, however, was well-organized and the expression was well-planned. Contrasts and differences were shown even between short passages. The interpretation was genuine and bold….–Adam Rozlach Polish Radio
II International Violin Competition Torun 2010
…Another great Polish talent, who does everything to make us forget his past limitations and bad habits. Poland changes and so do the Poles. Adam is gifted for music, his sound is lovely, he performs with confidence and maturity, which was apparent particularly in the second and third Sonata movements, and he is concentrated and focused. The duet was perfectly matched and the dynamics was well balanced. The Finale of the Prokofiev’s piece was very good, perhaps a bit cautiously performed, but the interpretation was well structured and complex. Adam is a talented, interesting and sensitive violinist….–III International Violin Competition Torun 2013 Adam Rozlach Polish Radio
…What a virtuoso flair! I would even say it was the essence of the violin flair. Listening to her, we couldn’t imagine her doing anything else in her life but playing. Her sound is powerful and firm, but will also charm you with unmatched, beautiful, trembling tones. Anna is filled with music and emotions that come with it. This romantic, insane impetus is all too rare these days. It should be stressed that what she does is natural and sincere. She is not faking it, she really is like that. She must be a very self-confident person, but this helps in a performance. The second movement of the Sonata was opened by beautiful and emotional performance of the pianist. Anna joined in the same mood, naturally, effortless. Then the “folk” motive appeared, sharp and less suave (as it doesn’t need to be suave at all). In the third movement the incredible, indescribable impetus was restored, but in my opinion it is the lyrical passages in her interpretation that are most lovely. She performed them with intense, firm sound (however, in high registers the instrument sounded slightly hollow). Subito – perfect performance of both the violinist and the pianist. Their interpretation was insanely expressive and dynamic. The Polish contestant seems to overshadow all others in terms of natural spontaneity. She always goes the whole hog, and what she does, reflects her true personality. And this personality is multifaceted too – as I already mentioned, she can also play with utmost subtlety. What is more, her skills are extraordinary, and this is the key to success. To execute almost all the nuances of the Fantasy, as she did, is a great achievement. She probably felt that too, when smiling to the audience at the end…–III International Violin Competition Torun 2013
Adam Rozlach Polish Radio
…When I was talking about the Korean tempest, a real volcano of Polish emotionality entered the stage. No volcano of the world could hold the comparison. From the very beginning she went full steam ahead and was uncompromising. With a bold, strong opening, she was able to switch instantly to beautiful lyricism. She displayed fully developed phrases: expressive, charming and graceful. Her interpretation was powerful and sometimes heavy, as if forced, but this would be a false impression. With this powerful sound she was able to stand out, even though the acoustics of this concert hall made the orchestra rather loud. Therefore she was never behind, and at the same time her interpretation preserves the needed delicacy. (…) She is so spontaneous and unrestraint that presently she is not yet capable of mastering all the details. But, as already mentioned, she is always sincere and always true to herself. In a free moment she smiles to the conductor or returns his smile, but a second after she presents her bellicose attitude, which makes me respect her even more. She is determined to perform and passionate about music as no other participant. Anna is an incredibly talented and personally very friendly young Polish violinist. Her skills are already admirable, but in my opinion, she will achieve even more in the near future. The Finale of the Tchaikovsky’s concerto in her interpretation was truly memorable. I have never heard such a spontaneous and pugnacious interpretation. It was like a dynamite explosion and impressed us all at the Torun Violin Competition. Thank you, Anna!…–III International Violin Competition Torun 2013
Adam Rozlach Polish Radio
…Concert REVIEW – “The Eight Seasons”
There are “native speakers” of music and those who had to learn this language. (Or, should I say, languages, because we can distinguish separate languages of romanticism, jazz, etc.) Both can reach a similar level of agility, but there is always a difference, sometimes difficult to grasp. When it comes to sensitivity to verbal puns, nuances and deeper meaning of words, native speakers always win.
I think that for violinist Anna Maria Staskiewicz (born in 1983), music is the native language. Especially the language of the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla: direct, headstrong, full of fire and artistic unrest. We could hear all this in her interpretation of his “Four Seasons” – a work based on the rhythms of tango with quotations from “Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi. Most importantly, she sounded natural. It was a real pleasure to watch her “utter” musical phrases, add ornaments, and lay emphases with unbelievable ease. The Amadeus Orchestra was a great help as well. Already now I can tell that Anna Maria Staskiewicz, a violinist from Torun who studies in Poznan, has every change of becoming a renowned European artist.
“Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi were performed by PiotrPlawner (born in 1974). Looking at recent trends in interpreting baroque music by world’s leading musicians I must admit that this interpretation was correct, but lukewarm and conservative.
Undoubtedly that Friday evening the seasons were more interesting in Buenos Aires than in Venice.
……A highly interesting concert took place in the Busko Cultural Centre “BSCK” on 6 July. The “Amadeus” Chamber Orchestra with Agnieszka Duczmal and the 21-year-old violinist Anna Maria Staskiewicz performed “Four Seasons in Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla. The version for a string orchestra and a soloist had been arranged for Gidon Kremer and his “Kremerata” and was presented in Busko for the first time. This music seems unvarying but is nonetheless fascinating, as all Piazzolla’s works. This piece includes all types of tango, elusive motives taken from Vivaldi (e.g. in Summer and Winter), lyrical cello solos, fugues and a full spectrum of violin effects: pizzicato, glissando, percussion-like knocking, whistling flageolets, etc. Staskiewicz presented a colourful interpretation, bravado and a real Latino swing feel. The audience was captivated……–Malgorzata Komorowska, Ruch Muzyczny
…Anna Maria Staskiewicz was the greatest surprise of the festival. She amazed the audience with her masterly performance. In the interpretation of Anna,”Four Seasons” – a unique and fairly controversial composition by Astor Piazzolla, based on Argentinian tango, was enthusiastically received by the audience. The soloist and the orchestra (often in polyrhythms) were able to show bravado, lyricism as well as the effects of sonorism. Beautiful music, definitely worthwhile…–Radio Kielce
…Anna Maria Staskiewicz, a young, talented violist, turned out to be sensational. She performed “Four Seasons in Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla with the “Amadeus” Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio conducted by AgnieszkaDuczmal. This was a great interpretation and a real show of musicality, feel, exuberance and beautiful sound…–Adam Czopek